Luther's 'Divine Discourses' (as this book was known) stirred up so much anger in the Roman Catholic Church that all copies were ordered to be burnt under an edict by Pope Gregory XIII. One copy was found by Casparus Van Sparr in 1626, whilst building on a house once owned by his grandfather in Germany. The book was wrapped in a linen cloth treated with beeswax and buried in the ground it was perfectly preserved. An English friend of Casparus, Captain Henry Bell, brought the book back to Britain and began the work of translation several times but never completed it. He received a vision of an old man who told him he would complete the translation. Two weeks later he was arrested and spent the next 10 years in jail during which time he completed the work and produced what we now know as 'Tabletalk'. This collection of informal comments was gathered together by Antony Lauterbach and John Aurifaber, who were very close to Luther towards the end of his life. It is a serendipitous collection so many of the Reformer's words are plain spoken. Although known for being outspoken in public Luther, like us all, was even more so in private.
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